Bringing the Bats

Jake Palomaki, pictured last year, and Chatham edged Falmouth in an 8-7 slugfest on opening night.
Jake Palomaki, pictured last year, and Chatham edged Falmouth in an 8-7 slugfest on opening night.

 

Pitching usually dominates early in the Cape League season, so much so that last night’s 8-7 win by Chatham over Falmouth was – believe it or not – the highest scoring opening night game on the Cape since 2004. It matched a 14-1 win by Bourne over Cotuit June 17, 2004 at Coady Park, former home of the Braves. Among the players in that game? Chase Headley and Brennan Boesch.

In the next 12 years, no two teams combined for 15 runs on opening night, until the Anglers and Commodores did it last night.

Chatham and Falmouth combined for 20 hits, six of which went for extra bases. Chatham led throughout thanks to a four-run first inning and held on tight down the stretch as Falmouth scored five in the seventh.

Jacob Olson, the top hitter for South Carolina this spring, homered and went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI to lead the Anglers. Josh Shaw (ASA College), who played for Cotuit last summer, and Jeremy Pena (Maine) also had two hits, while Mason Koppens (Northeastern) drove in two runs.

Falmouth’s offense was led by Marty Bechina (Michigan State), who went 3-for-4 and homered. Clayton Daniel (Jacksonville State) added three hits and two RBI.

Justin Lasko (UMass) picked up the win with 5.1 strong innings. Falmouth did some damage against the Angler bullpen, but Eli Nabholz (Millersville) – who struck out 93 in 78 innings this spring – fanned four two perfect innings to close the door.

 

Y-D 4, Harwich 2

The defending champs opened with a little extra baseball, winning in 10 innings over Harwich at Whitehouse Field. After each team scored a run in the fifth to make it 2-2, they matched each other for four scoreless frames before the Red Sox broke through in the top of the 10th. Kyle Isbel (UNLV) had his second RBI single of the day to break the tie and scored on a sac fly by Carlos Cortes (South Carolina). Riley McCauley struck out two in the bottom of the 10th to finish the win. Isbel finished with three hits and Cortes had two to lead the Red Sox. Travis Moniot (Orange County CC) and Andrew Moritz (UNC Greensboro) had two hits apiece for Harwich.

Hyannis 3, Wareham 0

Hyannis notched opening night’s lone shutout as four pitchers combined to allow just five hits. Ryan Weiss, who had a big year for Wright State, drew the opening night start and went four innings. Michael Brettell (Central Michigan) followed with two scoreless innings and was credited with the win. Ethan Larrison (Indiana State) pitched the seventh and Christian Tripp (New Mexico) tossed the final two innings for the save. Hyannis got all the offense it needed in the second as returning Harbor Hawk Ford Proctor (Rice) drew a bases loaded walk and Tyler Frank – coming off a big spring at Florida Atlantic – doubled home a pair.

Cotuit 5, Bourne 3

The Kettleers scored all their runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to rally and pull away from Bourne. Griffin Conine (Duke) went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI to lead the charge. Brett Kinneman (NC State) drove in a run and Greyson Jenista (Wichita State), back for his second year in Cotuit, had two hits from the leadoff spot. Jason Bilous – a late arrival to Cotuit last year after Coastal Carolina’s run to the national championship – got the opening night start and allowed two runs in 4.1 innings. Jayce Vancena (Michigan) earned the win in relief and Clark Cota (UNC Wilmington) struck out four in two hitless innings for the save.

Brewster 6, Orleans 1

The Whitecaps had three two-run innings and didn’t allow Orleans to score until the ninth in an opening night victory. Mickey Gasper (Bryant) homered and drove in two for the Whitecaps. A.J. Graffanino (Washington), back for his second summer in Brewster, had two hits and an RBI. Connor Higgins, who pitched almost exclusively in relief for Arizona State this spring, got the start for Brewster and struck out six in five scoreless innings.

What to Watch

Orleans has two conference pitcher of the year award winners on its roster this summer and will send out the first tonight as Joey Murray (Kent State) gets the ball at Y-D. He’ll go against Josh McMinn, the ace of the Oral Roberts staff this spring.

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